Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the lack of form of Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant could be the biggest concerns for the Delhi Capitals (DC) ahead of their clash against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2020.
He made this observation while talking about the strengths and weaknesses of the Shreyas Iyer-led team in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra picked the Delhi Capitals' all-round bowling attack as their biggest strength.
"I like their bowling attack a lot. Nortje, Rabada, Ashwin, Axar, Stoinis and then whether they play Daniel Sams or another Indian bowler, it has been actually a very good bowling unit."
The reputed commentator observed that the Delhi Capitals bowling arsenal is even better than that of the Mumbai Indians. He pointed out that the wicket-taking abilities of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje are complemented very well by the experienced spin department of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
"If we do a man-to-man marking, the Delhi Capitals bowling unit looks better to me than the Mumbai Indians. Because they have Rabada's wicket-taking ability, Nortje is super fast and a wicket-taker and the two spinners are amazing. Earlier it was even better when they had Mishra available as an option."
While acknowledging that the Delhi Capitals batting might have floundered a little in the last few matches, Aakash Chopra picked their Indian core as their other strength.
"The other is their Indian batting core. It has failed in between. I totally get it if you feel how it is a strength."
He reasoned that the presence of Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant does not require the Delhi Capitals to play an overseas batsman in their top five, thereby allowing them to strengthen their bowling.
"But it is a strength when you can have Prithvi Shaw with Shikhar Dhawan, then Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. No team has 5 Indian top-order batsmen, this team doesn't need an overseas player in the top 5. So if you see that way, the Indian batting core is outstanding."
The former KKR player added that all the Delhi Capitals batsmen are quite experienced and have a lot of potential.
"Also a lot of them have experience. Shikhar Dhawan is an experienced player, Shreyas Iyer is now a sure-shot experienced player and the captain as well, Rishabh Pant has also played for quite a few years, Prithvi Shaw is also not a greenhorn and Ajinkya Rahane has been playing for a long time. So, they have experience, pedigree and class."
Aakash Chopra on some of the concerns for the Delhi Capitals
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the lack of form of some of their top-order batsmen could be one of the biggest concerns for the Delhi Capitals, and highlighted Prithvi Shaw's tendency to throw away his wicket.
"The weakness is that some of the players have had a slight dip in form in the last little while. I am a little worried about Prithvi Shaw that he goes on playing his shots and plays a high-risk game, doesn't bother about getting out but he is getting out more often."
He also observed that Rishabh Pant's batting has been out of character and that the young wicket-keeper has not been his destructive self.
"Rishabh Pant hasn't really looked himself. So these are the two biggest concerns."
The 43-year-old expressed hope that Shreyas Iyer would be able overcome his slightly lean patch and deliver the goods for the Delhi Capitals.
"Shreyas Iyer has scored more than 400 runs. But the impact knocks from him have been far and few between. So I am expecting more as the standards are high for him."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Ravichandran Ashwin's hamstring injury could be the other concern for the Delhi Capitals, as it could impact the team balance if he is not available for tonight's game.
Also see:- Yesterday IPL match result
"The other concern they have is that Ashwin did not field in the last match after bowling his 4 overs. He is having a slight issue with his hamstring. If he is injured, then the situation will change slightly as they will have to make changes to the team, so that will be a big problem."
The Delhi Capitals would be hoping that Ravichandran Ashwin recovers from his injury and is able to take the field against the Mumbai Indians tonight. If not, they might have to include the inexperienced Pravin Dubey or play Sandeep Lamichhane at the expense of Daniel Sams.